Muscat: Various incentives will be offered to Omani producers who are willing to export their products to Kuwait through Kuwait’s Union of Consumer Cooperative Societies (UCCS), said an Omani official.
The potential for cooperation between Omani companies and UCCS was discussed during a business to business meeting organised by the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (PEIE) at Grand Hyatt Hotel on Wednesday.
The first-of-its-kind event was attended by Hilal bin Hamad Al Hasani, chief executive officer of the PEIE, Omani industrialists and a high-profile delegation from UCCS. It explored the prospects of signing deals to supply Omani products to the Consumer Cooperative Societies in Kuwait.
Al Hasani said that the meeting was organised as part of the PEIE’s initiatives to support local companies and help them promote and sell their products locally and internationally. Around 50 per cent of Omani products are exported to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) market, so enhancing trade with Kuwait is important, he noted.
Supply of products
Speaking to Times of Oman, Eng. Basim bin Ali Al Nassri, director general of marketing and media at the PEIE, said that UCCS is interested in supplying Omani products to Kuwait’s market through the union and offers a number of incentives to Omani companies.
The union has proposed that the Omani products be supplied to Kuwait under the name of UCCS and with their special packaging, he said, adding that the name and logo of the Omani manufacturer will also be printed on the packaging.
It will be regarded as an Omani product in Kuwait and it would be mentioned that it has been made in the Sultanate, Al Nassri said.
According to him, cooperation with UCCS will benefit Omani producers in several ways as they will not have to pay the shelf rate or registration in the union and also they will not have to repay for the sale of their products later from the profit that they will make.
There is a possibility for the direct export of Omani products to Kuwait but then they have to enter a competition in the market, the official explained.
Asked about the potential products that can be supplied to Kuwait through UCCS, Al Nassri noted that they include tea, ketchup, mayonnaise, hygiene-related products and pharmaceutical products among others.
He said that in general, Oman is currently exporting many products to Kuwait such as vegetable oil, dairy products, chicken and other meat supplies as well as some petrochemical products. The director general of marketing and media at the PEIE added that more than 120 Omani companies, including around 20 small and medium enterprises (SMEs), participated in the business to business meeting.
Commenting on the next Omani Products Exhibition (Opex), Al Nassri said that it will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from April 11 to 14. So far over 60 companies have registered to take part in the event and the target is to take around 100 to 120 companies to the African country, he added.
Various sectors and products will be represented in the exhibition, including building material, pharmaceutical products, foodstuff, metal and plastic.
According to the PEIE, Saad Mubarak Al Shabo, chairperson of UCCS, said that the union performs several duties such as representing all members before official and non-official local, Arab and international agencies, raising consumer cooperative awareness in Kuwait, harmonising the work of all of its members and performing local and external purchases.
It is also endeavouring to reduce costs and improve the service level, control price rises of consumer commodities, protect consumers, unify prices in all cooperative societies and fund the construction of productive units. Al Shabo expressed hope that trade relations between the Sultanate and Kuwait would be enhanced.
New industrial estates
The PEIE aims to develop the three newly introduced industrial estates in around five years, according to a senior official.
It was recently announced that Oman plans to build three new industrial estates in Thumrait, Al Mudhaibi and Shinas, in a move to diversify the country’s economy and create employment opportunities for young Omanis.
Hilal bin Hamad Al Hasani, chief executive officer of the PEIE, told ‘Times of Oman’ that the decision was made as the occupancy of other industrial estates is increasing and there is a need for new estates.
The development of these new estates falls within the Ninth Five-Year Plan and the land plots are available, he said on the sidelines of an Oman-Kuwait meet held at Grand Hyatt Hotel on Wednesday.
Asked if all the three estates will be developed in five years, Al Hasani said, “That is what we are aiming for.” The demand is going up, the official said, adding that the new estates will be dedicated to certain sectors which will be announced later.